The True Spirit of Service
By E. Kotz
The Master is speaking to His disciples in all ages, and He says, "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matt. 20:27, 28. But to us who are living in that special period of time when "men shall be lovers of their own selves," there is grave danger that even we, as disciples of our Lord, shall become infected with the spirit of the times, and that in our contact with men of different races and nationalities we develop a "superiority complex," which tends to militate against our influence as workers for Christ. The antidote for this abnormal spiritual condition is found in the application of our Lord's prescription, "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." Are we willing to follow this counsel without reserve?
During the war, some people were very anxious to make known that they were 100 per cent nationals of their respective countries. Are Christians equally concerned about making known that they are 100 per cent servants in divine ministry?
While this is a question which concerns every minister, it is of special importance to the foreign missionary. To be willing to go to the mission field as a leader—a preacher, a teacher, a director—is one thing, and it is quite another thing to be willing to go as a servant. We emphasize the need of greater evangelism and soul winning; and it is right that we do so. The Lord has called our attention to a simple and heavenly way of winning more souls, which is as follows:
"If we would humble ourselves before God, and be kind and courteous and tender-hearted and pitiful, there would be one hundred conversions to the truth where now there is only one. But though professing to be converted, we carry around with us a bundle of self that we regard as altogether too precious to be given up. It is our privilege to lay this burden at the feet of Christ, and in its place take the character and similitude of Christ. The Saviour is waiting for us to do this."—"Testimonies," Vol. IX, pp. 189, 190.
This is the true spirit of service. It is needful that each disciple shall test himself by the gauge of practical application of the principles of true service. For example, Am I (whether in the mission field or in the homeland) willing to serve only in leading positions? or, Am I willing, as local workers and nationals develop and take on greater responsibilities, to continue to serve as a "servant," relinquishing what might be considered the most honorable positions? Do I possess that true greatness which is manifested in humility? Am I willing to promote others, instead of myself? Do I rejoice when I see others develop into capable workers who can carry heavy responsibilities? Am I successful in training successors?
The insigne of true chieftainship in Christian service is willingness to become a servant, and to minister to others, rather than to be ministered unto.
Takoma Park, D. C.
Aftermath of "Experiment in Faith"
By L.H. King
It is most gratifying to be able to state that the "experiment in faith" for conducting the missionary campaigns of the church, concerning which reports have appeared in previous issues of The Ministry, has not produced spasmodic, intermittent results, but rather has borne fruit of enduring character.
Following practically the same lines as previously indicated, the church of 250 members pledged the sum of $1,204 for the Big Week effort of 1930, which is equivalent to about $5 per capita. As this pledge represents the expressed purposes of only 166 church members, it is safe to say that the amount will be considerably enlarged when all the members have done their part.
The entire Big Week plan was made the subject of earnest prayer at the church board meeting, and also at the weekly prayer service. The special burden of united prayer was that God would work, not according to human devising, but that the love of Christ might fill the hearts of His people, and become the constraining power for service. This is God's way.
I do not think I err in saying that this beautiful work of love was performed in less time than any previous effort. While the importance of the literature provided for the Big Week effort is not overlooked, yet three minutes sufficed to speak of the books and to state that 500 sets were on hand for immediate use. The Big Week effort was launched last Sabbath [April 12], and the missionary secretary informs me that by the middle of the week only 100 sets were on hand, and that it is necessary to place another order.
In connection with the launching of the Big Week effort, the personal experience of a devoted, self-sacrificing sister in the church was used by God as true spiritual incentive to service. This sister, a widow, had been injured in an automobile accident, and had spent many weeks in the hospital, so that her finances were greatly depleted. But she stated that in answer to prayer she had been restored to health, and as a thank offering to the Master, she wished to place $75 in the Big Week Fund, and thereby help to build the dispensary in Jerusalem (which we had chosen as our specific enterprise) for the physical and spiritual relief of men and women in that city of sacred memories. The personal testimony and example of this devoted woman had its effect.
Early in March, a revival effort lasting one week was held in the church. Meetings were held every night, and were entirely divested of formality, consisting of twenty-minute presentations of practical subjects, such as "Home Religion," dealing with most intimate relationships between brothers, sisters, couples, etc., as well as business, work, the church, and other topics, and then throwing the meeting open for requests for prayer. The pathway of confession, humiliation, repentance, and prayer was filled by scores, sometimes nearly 100 persons being on their feet awaiting their turn to speak.
The confessions were of a sort which only the Holy Spirit could induce, striking directly at the sin pointed out. A half hour was devoted to prayer, which brought the service to a close. The attendance at these evening meetings was approximately 200. Relatives and friends not in the truth, were brought to the meetings in large numbers. Daily meetings were held with the juniors, and special meetings were devoted to the needs of the young people. I have never, in my connection with the work, seen such a genuinely spiritual work among our people, and it gives me faith and courage.
We have abundant evidence that by making God first, our people will receive every material blessing. Thus far, in the midst of widespread business depression, with 50,000 unemployed in the city, the tithe of the church shows an increase of $300 for the first quarter of 1930, and practically every man in the church has steady employment. It is a miracle, only to be explained through the process of faith and its accruement.
Buffalo, N. Y.
Broadcasting From Oregon
By J.G. Lamson
We have been broadcasting since last November, and are now going out over the air on 1,300 kilocycles with a power of 500 watts, at a cost of $15 an hour, with an additional cost of $18 a month for the rental of telephone wire for remote control. There are stronger stations in the city, but their price is double. Our design has not been to see how far we could go, but to get good service with a station covering our local territory. We are receiving letters from people who appreciate our Sabbath afternoon Bible study, from points as far east as Miles City, Mont., as far north as Canada, and south to the California line. We consider this a very good record for the station which we are using.
While we have not received any startling reports of people embracing the truth, there are many indications that hundreds of people are listening in to our Bible studies on points- of present truth who perhaps would not think of going to church to listen to an Adventist sermon. Our greatest thrill comes from letters of thanksgiving and joy written by shut-ins, unable to attend public services, who listen in to our program from the first organ number to the benediction, and we feel convinced that ,it is worth all that it costs to be able to help those who are longing for consolation.
A recent incident revealed something of the effect which our broadcasting is producing. One of our church members, who had recently come to Portland, received my personal check for $20 in settlement of a business transaction. This sister took the check with her to the city, and went into one of the banks to get it cashed. As she was a stranger, the cashier asked if she was acquainted with any one in the bank, or could give references. To the first inquiry she answered, No, and to the second she was not sure to whom to refer. The cashier then inquired about the check and how she came to have it, and in explaining the matter she mentioned my name. This seemed to arouse some radio memories, and he said, "Is this Lamson who signed this check the man who is giving the 'Lamson Lectures' over the radio?" "Yes, the very same man," was the reply.
"Well, I think we can fix this matter then, for our folks are listening in every Saturday afternoon, and enjoy the Lamson Lectures very much." The check was cashed without any further difficulty.
And still another encouraging report came about through a friend who was visiting acquaintances not of our faith. When this brother mentioned the fact that he was in the city for the purpose of attending a convention at Sunnyside church, his friends asked, "Is that the church from which we get the broadcasts?" On being assured that it was, they remarked, "We listen in every Saturday afternoon, and are much interested, for we find they are really Bible studies, and not mere lectures about ordinary things."
The owner and manager of the broadcast station gives us his personal supervision, each Sabbath afternoon coming to my study, where the instruments are installed, to see that the broadcast goes out in proper shape. Once each month we furnish a musical program, consisting of organ, violin, and piano numbers, and sometimes an ensemble, with male quartet, etc., interspersed- These are known as sacred concerts, and are put on at eight o'clock at night, and thus reach much farther than the afternoon broadcast. We have received excellent compliments regarding this program, and it costs us nothing, because the telephone rental is paid by the month and the broadcaster is happy to put out such a first-class program without expense to himself for artists.
We have financed this broadcast through the voluntary help of five of our church members. When I first presented the matter to them, they heartily agreed to the plan, and guaranteed to meet the expense involved.
All bills have been met promptly, and we have cash in hand for two months in advance. I am a firm believer in making use of the radio for the broadcast of the message, and I believe there are many churches where arrangements could be made to put on a broadcast at least once a week, and that untold good would be accomplished thereby.
Enlargement and Deliverance
I greatly rejoice as I hear of the I experience coming to the different ones through the deeper work of grace. Truly there is "the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees," and we may expect to see greater and greater movings of the Spirit in the camp of Israel. And when the Spirit of God thus moves among His people, will there not be the same result as in the beginning, when the Spirit moved so mightily in the work of creation,—light out of darkness, order out of chaos, life from the dead, and immaculate beauty and abundant fruitage? How we long to see these blessed results in the church!
I know that God is leading me, and has been leading me through the years. I sincerely feel that He has been preparing me for the message of enlargement and deliverance which is so clearly sounding along the line. How glad I am that I do not have to remain in my weakness and abject poverty, sitting outside the gate which opens to a new experience in Christ, but that daily, through the enabling power of the Saviour of men, I may arise and enter in through the gate Beautiful, leaping and praising God. And this I am doing.
I have heard the call of the Spirit, saying, "Come in! Why standest thou without? I have prepared abundantly for thee, even reserved things." And as I enter the banqueting house of spiritual things, I am permitted to feast on the hidden manna. I am so happy in this new experience. I see wonderful untapped resources of blessing and power in the divine provision, —fountains of grace, peace like a river, and righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Thy time has come for enlargement and deliverance of the people of God in spiritual things, and many are responding. Let us continue to pray for enlarged capacity to receive the outpouring of the Spirit, and for deliverance from indifference, from sin, and from everything that binds and hinders the people of God from entering into their rightful spiritual inheritance.
A Foreign Missionary.